Auctions | May 22, 2012

Maps, Globes, Natural History Coming up at Swann's

New York—On Thursday, June 7, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Historical Prints, and Ephemera that offers part two of a private collection with specialization in maps of American interest, as well as a selection of atlases, and an impressive assortment of natural history books (with plates depicting animals, birds, botanicals and more). The sale concludes with nearly 30 lots of ephemera.

Among the earliest American maps are Carnelis Wytfliet, Florida et Apalche, Louvain, 1597 (estimate: $2,500 to $3,500); Robert Dudley, Carta particolare della nuoua Belgia è parte della nuoua Anglia, first state of the first printed sea chart of New England, Florence, 1647 ($12,000 to $18,000); Joannes van Keulen, Pas Kaart van de Zee Kusten van Virginia TusschenC Henry, Amsterdam, circa 1685 ($4,000 to $6,000); and Pierre Mortier, Carte Particuliere de Virginie, Maryland, Pennsilvanie, Amsterdam, circa 1696 ($3,500 to $5,000).

From the 18th and 19th centuries are Visscher/Schenk, Novi Belgii Novaeque Angliae nec non parties Virginiae Tabula, Amsterdam, circa 1729 ($4,000 to $6,000); Jeffrys/Mead, A Map of the most Inhabited Part of New England, London, 1774 ($6,000 to $9,000); William Brassier, A Survey of Lake Champlain, including Lake George, Crown Point and St. John, London, August 5, 1776 ($3,000 to $4,000); William Faden, A Plan of the Town of Boston with the Intrenchments &c. of His Majesty’s Forces in 1775, London, 1777 ($8,000 to $12,000); and Jacob Willetts, Map of the State of New York with Parts Adjacent, Poughkeepsie, 1815 ($2,500 to $3,500).

Fine 19th century miniature globes are featured in the sale, including one made of ivory that opens into a sundial ($3,500 to $5,000), and another that has a moon in orbit around it ($4,000 to $6,000); as well as a pair of George III period examples—one terrestrial, the other celestial—on matching wooden stands ($10,000 to $15,000 for the two).

Choice atlases are Heinrich Scherer, Geographia Naturalis, bound with Geographia Hierarchica, 34 maps in all, Munich, 1710 and 1703 ($6,000 to $9,000); Joseph Roux, Carte de la Mer Mediterranée, with 12 folding maps, Paris, 1764 ($8,000 to $12,000); and Anthony Finley, A New American Atlas, with 15 hand-colored maps, Philadelphia, 1826 ($6,000 to $9,000).

Among books with beautifully hand-colored plates are several ornithological works including John Latham, A General History of Birds, with 193 plates, Winchester, 1821-28 ($6,000 to $9,000); James Bolton, Harmonia Ruralis: or, an Essay towards a Natural History of British Song Birds, 81 plates, London, 1830 ($2,500 to $3,500); and Lemaire and Prévost, Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux Exotiques, 80 plates, Paris, 1864 ($2,500 to $3,500).

Botanical highlights include Hieronymus Bock, Kreutterbuch, Strassburg, circa 1577 ($2,000 to $3,000); James Bateman, A Second Century of Orchidaceous Plants, 100 plates, London, 1867 ($4,000 to $6,000); and William Curtis and John Sims, The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, 28 volumes in 14, London, 1790-1808 ($7,000 to $10,000).

Other natural history titles of note are Ippolito Salviani, Aquatilium animalium historiae, liber primus, an important early illustrated ichthyological treatise, Rome, 1554 ($4,000 to $6,000) and August Johann Roesel von Rosenhof, Der monatlichherausgegebenen Insecten-Belustigung, Nuremerg, 1746-61 ($1,500 to $2,500).

The decorative graphics section contains individual Audubon plates, botanicals, and Currier & Ives lithographs.

The sale concludes with approximately 30 lots of ephemera, which include Victorian trade cards, bookmarks, sheet music and a theater scrapbook.

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 7. The works will be on public exhibition Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, June 4 through Wednesday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to noon.

An illustrated catalogue with information on bidding by mail or fax is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information, and to arrange in advance to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Gary Garland at (212) 254-4710, extension 17, or via email at

Live online bidding is also available via